Cross Country Standout’s Humility Makes Him Better as a Person and a Runner

All great athletes have a certain edge that governs their minds and gives them the mental advantage over typical, average athletes.

The edge that creates a hunger inside to win at all costs, never being satisfied with a win and only looking forward to the next victory.

This competitive advantage has been instilled in University of Utah cross country runner Teren Jameson. As a result, he has been on a complete tear this year. Jameson has dominated just about every tournament he has competed in, and he is still not satisfied.

?I can?t dwell on my past victories, I can only think about winning upcoming meets,? Jameson said.

An amazing mindset, considering the accomplishments he has attained this season.

Jameson has beaten down his opponents in three of the four meets he has competed in.

The competitors at the Idaho State Invitational, Montana Invitational and the prestigious Stanford Invitational all fell victim to the wrath of Teren Jameson.

Jameson tried to understate his victories saying, ?Stanford was big, but I don?t think their top runner was competing.?

His humbling attitude has led him to a great number of victories, but the fact is that Stanford is arguably the top team in the nation, and defeating the Cardinal is a significant accomplishment.

The fourth tournament he competed in did not result in a victory, however. He could only muster up a second-place finish out of a measly 295 participants at an NCAA pre meet in Greenville, S.C.

Olympian Sean Dollman was the first to defeat Jameson this year, and even then he won by just three seconds.

Jameson attempted to humble himself as usual by saying, ?I ran pretty well in South Carolina, and I did lose to an Olympian, but I can still get better.?

Many obstacles have been put in Jameson’s way, but he had one coach to help him along in his entire collegiate career until now.

For 22 years, Mike Jones was the coach of Utah’s cross country and track and field programs, though he has since retired, leaving new coach Brian Appell to pick up the slack.

After experiencing great success under the tutelage of Jones, Jameson admitted to being concerned with the coaching change.

?I was worried when [Jones] left because of my training, but coach Appell has been great, and has helped me become a better runner,? Jameson said.

Appell is proud of the program and happy that he has been able to coach Jameson.

?I hope I have not been a detriment to his abilities, and although I have only been able to coach him for one year, it has been great,? Appell said.

The new coach surely has not been a detriment to Jameson?s abilities, but has furthered them to an amazing level.

Fellow teammate Colby Frazier said that coach Jones was great, but added that having a new coach is also something that can help.

?I was only with coach Jones for a year, and I know he was a great coach, but coach Appell has been great, and I think all athletes need to learn from new coaches.?

With Appell?s coaching and Jameson?s hard work and determination, the progression of his career has skyrocketed.

Every year, he has improved in a variety of areas, and he continues to improve every day.

He attended Taylorsville High School in Utah and was the academic athlete of the year in 1994-95.

He redshirted his freshman year, and in ?96, Jameson placed seventh at the U.S. Junior National Championships

In 1998, he was selected as a part of the Academic All Conference Team in cross country and track and field. He finished in 16th place at the Idaho State Invitational that year.

But 1999 was the year when Jameson broke out and started competing for top spots in all races. He finished fifth in the Idaho State Invitational and 20th in the Mountain West Conference championships. He was named to the 1999 All District Team.

And last year, it all blew up. Jameson started winning titles, in meets at Idaho and Colorado, and also finished 36th at the Pre-NCAA meet and third at the Mountain West Conference championships.

At the NCAA Championships, he placed 38th and earned All American status.

Jameson feels this year will yield even better results because of his progression.

?I have strengthened myself in tough training with coach Appell, and my confidence has grown over the past year,? he said.

It already has been a better season, just considering his victories, but Jameson has provided more than individual accomplishments for the team.

The ultimate result of having a great runner on the team is to make the other runners on the team strive to become better as well.

Tara Hall, a member of the women?s squad, knows the impact Jameson has on the rest of the team.

?I think Teren?s running helps all of us get better; seeing how much he works to get better makes us work as hard. Teren worries more about the team then he worries about winning individual titles,? Hall said.

The men?s squad has been helped exponentially with Jameson?s demeanor, and Frazier is thankful to work with Jameson.

?He is my peer, and I learn so many things from him. Running with him every day makes me push myself to become better,? Frazier said.

The results have shown how well the team is learning from Jameson. The men?s team finished fourth at Stanford and then second at Utah State, where Jameson did not run due to the meet in South Carolina.

Having a running mate has been a great help to Jameson, and although his experience has filtered down to the team, he has become a better runner because of his teammates.

?It has been a two-way street for the runners and Teren, because he has rubbed off and helped the runners on the team, and the runners like Colby [Frazier], have pushed him even further,? Appell said.

Jameson agreed that Frazier has helped him as much as he has helped his teammate.

?Running with a partner like Colby has been great because we can push each other all the time,? Jameson said.

Ultimately, Jameson?s humility not only makes him a likeable person, but it also makes him a better runner, as he can take in new ideas from his teammates and coaches.

His mentality is perfect and his humble approach to his past accomplishments ensures that, while he has All-American talent, he doesn’t have an equal-sized ego. He will challenge for a national title this year, and he will challenge for All-American athlete status again.

As for being an All-American individual, he’s already earned that.

[email protected]